It’s not your plan, It’s your planning

Sure, you have a great plan, everything is in order and you’re ready to launch. But no matter how great your plan is, it’s the planning that matters.

Think of your plan as an evaluation tool. The process begins as you gather information, set goals and create a vision for your professional or personal endeavor.

The process continues as you enter the planning stages where projections and goals are implemented, measured and updated.

The planning process never ends.

Consider planning as your steering wheel on the path to success. Sometimes the road will be bumpy, curvy and uncertain. This is good, it will make you pay closer attention, focus more carefully and watch for the unexpected and early warning signals.

With continued and proper planning you’re more likely to do what you intended with conviction, instead of veering off course by a spur of the moment decision.


Invest in intangibles: Knowledge and Skills

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It’s obvious that we’re going through tough economic times. It’s ok to acknowledge these tough conditions in order to understand what’s going on and make the necessary adjustments in our lives and portfolios. But we certainly do not want to stay consistently focused on the bad news because that only leads to more anxiety and stress.

As you adjust, consider these three important tips:

  • Limit your amount of news watching – Do not get caught up in the 24 hour news cycles of reporters expounding on the intricate details of the economic downfall. Select a few trusted and select sources for your news to stay informed and go easy on your amount of news consumption.

  • Know what you can and can’t control – Obviously, some things you can control, some you can’t. Know the difference and act accordingly.

  • Set a goal and have a plan – a bit of brain storming and strategic thinking is one of the best ways to decide what to do next. Consider the pros and cons of your decisions and consider what you will do to mitigate certain scenarios.

I believe that one of the safest investments you can make right now is an investment in your own knowledge, skills, and abilities.

For example, knowing how to build and improve any type of business is one of the best general-purpose skill sets you can have and there are always opportunities for people who understand how to create value for others. The great thing about investing in yourself is that your investment will not fluctuate in bad market conditions. In the future, when new opportunities present themselves, you’ll be well prepared to leverage your knowledge and skills for greater success.

Famous and Homeless

If you’ve ever thought about giving up on your dream, check out this article:

The article informs us quite clearly that the most important characteristic that separates those that have succeeded despite huge obstacles is persistence, determination and intense focus on a positive outcome.

As a friend once told me, most people go “through” things while others go “to” things. The difference of course is in your focus. Get clear about what you want to accomplish and where you want to go. Surround yourself with those that are moving in the direction of success. Model those that have already achieved success and arm yourself with the right set of tools that will help you get the job done.

Blackberry 8320 software update

I’ve owned a RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 for the past year.  I love the phone and I’ve enjoyed its looks and functionality; Now there’s reason to love the device even more.

The company recently introduced a nice software update that enhances the smart-phone’s capabilities.  The BlackBerry 4.5 update adds some notable features, including video recording capabilities, HTML e-mail support, and music and video-streaming capabilities. You also get attachment viewing and editing, a new browser design, and improved download and data performance. The update is available for free at T-Mobile’s download site. I’m also looking forward to testing the  improved UMA (calling via WiFi) capabilities. The original version had some issues with dropped calls on UMA. So far, so good, If you own this device, I highly recommend this update. As with all software upgrades, be sure to back up your data.

Social Media and customer service

According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study,  Almost 60 percent of Americans interact with companies on a social media Web site, and one in four interact more than once per week.

“The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, “it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

Certainly, customer service is taking on a new dimension as companies strive to differentiate themselves and stay competitive.